Props to Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz for chiding campaign reporters who regurgitate stinging, anonymous quotes. He’s got a scad of good examples, where the sources in question aren’t exactly disinterested parties or valiant whistle blowers in need of press protection. They’re campaign hacks out for flesh, and unless there’s an honest reason to shelter them, journalists should make them do their dirty work in public.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.